Tourism in Israel

Tourism in Israel

Israel recorded a total of five million tourists in 2019, ranking 39th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Israel, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.52 tourists per resident, Israel ranked 63rd in the world. In Western Asia, it ranked 5th.

In 2020, Israel generated around 2.66 billion US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.54 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 4 percent of all international tourism receipts in Western Asia.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism

Back to overview: Israel

The most popular cities in Israel for international travelers are Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In 2019, Jerusalem ranked 55th among the world's most popular cities with 4.47 million tourists. Tel Aviv was in 79th place with 2.98 million tourists.

Tourism in Israel

Development of the tourism sector in Israel from 1995 to 2019

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Israel each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 18 countries in Western Asia.

Tourists per year in Israel

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 3.49 billion USD, or about 3.5 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 2.53 million tourists at that time and roughly 1,380 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has decreased substantially. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $8.46 billion billion, 2.1 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $1,725 on their vacation in Israel.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $8.46 billion billion (2019), only $2.66 billion billion remained. This is a 69 percent decrease in Israel.

Tourism receipts in Israel per year

All data for Israel in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
20194.91 m8.46 bn $2.1 %1,725 $
20184.39 m8.05 bn $2.1 %1,834 $
20173.86 m7.60 bn $2.1 %1,968 $
20163.07 m6.62 bn $2.1 %2,155 $
20153.11 m6.61 bn $2.2 %2,124 $
20143.25 m6.62 bn $2.1 %2,035 $
20133.54 m6.60 bn $2.2 %1,864 $
20123.52 m6.18 bn $2.4 %1,757 $
20113.36 m5.89 bn $2.2 %1,751 $
20103.44 m5.64 bn $2.4 %1,637 $
20092.74 m4.94 bn $2.4 %1,802 $
20083.03 m5.40 bn $2.5 %1,780 $
20072.29 m4.33 bn $2.4 %1,885 $
20061.83 m3.74 bn $2.4 %2,037 $
20051.92 m3.75 bn $2.6 %1,957 $
20041.51 m2.91 bn $2.1 %1,931 $
20031.06 m2.47 bn $1.9 %2,326 $
2002862,099.982.43 bn $2.0 %2,814 $
20011.22 m2.85 bn $2.2 %2,341 $
20002.67 m4.61 bn $3.5 %1,726 $
19992.57 m4.80 bn $4.1 %1,871 $
19982.20 m3.60 bn $3.1 %1,635 $
19972.30 m3.74 bn $3.3 %1,630 $
19962.36 m3.51 bn $3.2 %1,486 $
19952.53 m3.49 bn $3.5 %1,380 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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